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COVID-19: Here Are New Activities, Low-Risk Businesses Restarting This Week Downstate

Some regions in New York will begin opening up from the COVID-19 crisis as soon as Friday, May 15.
Some regions in New York will begin opening up from the COVID-19 crisis as soon as Friday, May 15. Photo Credit: ny.gov

While some regions will begin reopening their economies in New York this week, some limited activities and recreation options will be permitted downstate, where the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is still prevalent.

When several of the state's 10 regions “unpause” on Friday, May 15, some activities will be permitted statewide, including landscaping, gardening, other low-risk recreational activities such as tennis, and drive-in movie theaters.


“We’re going to open businesses statewide that are low risk, giving some recreational choices, such as tennis, or drive-in movie theaters,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week during a daily COVID-19 briefing. “Talk about going back to the future with that.”

In New York, the Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and Southern Tier have all met seven metrics set forth by the state to begin reopening.

In those regions, construction and manufacturing firms will be permitted to reopen, along with nonessential retail businesses offering curbside or in-store pickup. 

Cuomo stressed that the first phase of the shutdown was directed by the state, though now reopening plans have “shifted to localities and regions” that will have to ensure they are in a position to kickstart their economies.

Downstate, on Long Island and the mid-Hudson Valley, five of seven metrics have been met, forcing a slower reopening.

“We can measure this, and you can look at each individual region and see where they are by this criteria,” Cuomo said during his daily COVID-19 press briefing on Monday, May 11 at Rochester Regional Health in Irondequoit. “Some regions are ready to go today, and just need to get some logistical pieces in order, others are close.

“We’re going to open when we’re ready to open. What does ready to open mean?" Cuomo added. "Well, first the number of hospitalizations, the infection rates, show decline, the federal government with CDC guidelines have laid that out, and we think it’s intelligent, we accepted the federal guidance."

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